• Charlotte Brenner

    The Algarve is the most popular holiday destination in Portugal, and not just for us at Falcon. Celebrities flock to the region for the picturesque white towns, great beaches and the party atmosphere, but where exactly do they go when they visit the south of Portugal?

    The biggest celebrity fan of the Algarve is good old Sir Cliff Richard. He’s been visiting the area for decades and even has a house in Guia where he makes his own wine – now you know where he gets that tan from!

    Celebrity footballers

    More recently the Algarve has played host to Steven Gerrard, his wife Alex and their daughters Lexie, Lilly-Ella and Lourdes. They actually own a home there at the Quinta do Lego resort where the Beckhams are also said to have visited. Former England footballer “Teddy” Sheringham also owns a villa in the region, as does Formula One racing driver Rubens Barrichello.

    The list of celebrity footballers that love the area so much they decide to buy houses there is extensive: Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, José Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robbie Fowler and Gareth Southgate are all residents. Goalkeeper David Seaman has chosen a place in the Western Algarve where the beaches are more rural and the land more private.

    Well, if it’s good enough for them!

    Politics, celebs and the Algarve

    Other high-profile personalities that have been spotted holidaying in the Algarve in recent years include British Prime Minister David Cameron, his wife Samantha and their three children – they spent two weeks in Portugal and apparently loved the food markets and the relaxing atmosphere.

    Algarve beach

    There’s an area of the Algarve known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ thanks to the resorts of Almancil, Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago. Many celebrities own homes in this region, including Boyzone front man Ronan Keating, television presenter Carol Smillie, celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock and Total Eclipse of the Heart singer Bonnie Tyler.

    Even Prince William has been spotted hanging out in the Algarve, as has Blur’s Alex James and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. Pixie Lott and her boyfriend Oliver Cheshire love Carvoeiro, while Rochelle and Marvin Humes (from The Saturdays and JLS respectively) enjoyed some downtime here after their recent wedding.

    Why do celebs love the Algarve so much?

    There are a few important reasons why these famous people and others have chosen to favour this little area of Portugal over all the other celebrity summer hangouts.

    • Strict building laws mean that mass tourism hasn’t ruined the area, and the character and charm remain.
    • It’s peaceful here – exactly what these celebrities need in their down time.
    • The tropical weather – in the Algarve the sun shines constantly!
    • The stunning coastline views – you don’t have to go far out of your resort to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

    Sunset on rocky beach Algarve

    And if you’re as famous as the Formula One driver Ayerton Senna and you buy a home here, you may even get a road named after you Ayerton Senna Avenue.

    Party time

    When the celebrities are enjoying their down time in the Algarve you’ll find them hanging out at Liberto’s in Albufeira. This exclusive club is a favourite of Portuguese footballer Ronaldo’s and it is known for its cosy ambience and great selection of music to encourage you to dance the night away. Meanwhile, if Michael Phelps is more the sportsman for you, you can find him at Black Jack – one of the most popular casinos around.

    Be sure to fit in a trip to the No Solo Agua Beach Club too – visiting VIPs love it there!

    The chic restaurants, luxury resorts, Michelin-starred restaurants, exclusive nightclubs, fantastic weather and fashionable hangouts in the Algarve just keep the celebs coming back for more.

    Where to stay

    The Algarve has an abundance resorts providing the ideal accommodation for everyone. Balaia isn’t one for hogging the limelight – it is hidden away between the livelier resorts of Albufeira and Vilamoura on Portugal’s Algarve coast. There are two beaches at Balaia one is lined with bars and restaurants, and Maria Luisa is your quieter option. As mentioned Vilamoura is more livelily than Balaia, the town revolves around the huge marina that’s filled with million-pound yachts and lined with elegant bars and authentic Portuguese restaurants. There is also plenty history on your front door to explore.

    Have you ever spotted a celeb on your holiday? Tell us about it in the comments!

    Thanks to alexandre, blinkingidiot and flavijus for the images used under the Creative Commons License.